Requires Photography

Wiener Heiltumsbuch

Book of the Vienna Sanctuary
Jn Disem Puechlein ist Uerzaichent das Hochwirdig Heiligtũb so man Jn der Loblichen stat Wienn Jn Osterreich alle iar an sontag nach dem Ostertag zezaigen pfligt

Matthaeus Heuperger (Austrian), Illustrated by Unidentified artist, Austrian, 16th century, Printed by Johannes Winterburger (active 1492–1519)

Place of Publication: Vienna, Austria


Overall: 21.2 x 15.7 x 1.8 cm (8 3/8 x 6 3/16 x 11/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Illustrated book; letterpress and woodcuts

Not On View


Europe, Prints and Drawings


Illustrated books

(Vienna: Johannes Winterburger, 1502); quarto; 24 leaves; deerskin binding; tan cloth slipcase. First edition, issue “b.”

The illustrations comprise five full-page representations, including coat of arms of Death (fol. C8r), and over two hundred small woodcuts of reliquaries from the Treasure of the Stephenskirche, Vienna

This small book is one of the most extraordinary publications to survive from the early decades of printing. It’s an object-by-object guide to the treasures owned by Saint Stephen’s cathedral in Vienna, complete with pictures to help visitors identify the objects , one of the richest collections of religious relics in Europe. This is perhaps the first book that was meant to serve much like a museum handbook. Just a few copies survive, but that makes sense—how often do you keep your brochure from a museum visit?


William H. Schab (dealer), NY; April 9, 1953, purchased from him by the MFA.

Credit Line

William A. Sargent Fund